With Congress holding its last session for the year 2023, one prominent lawmaker has said his final goodbyes to constituents and colleagues in the House of Representatives.
Former Speaker of the House Representatives and Speaker Emeritus Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) had his last session in Congress on Friday.
“To my colleagues from California, I’m so very, very proud of you,” McCarthy said during his goodbye speech. “And to my friends for coming: I appreciate the kind words. To the constituents: Thank you. Thank you for even giving me this opportunity to serve you. To America: I loved every single day. Less than 13,000 people have ever been given the privilege and the honor to serve in this body.
McCarthy was ousted as Speaker in October after Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) introduced a resolution to vacate the speaker position. Gaetz filed the motion after McCarthy passed a continued spending bill that Kept the government funded while the House worked on appropriations packages for 2024.
McCarthy, during his Thursday speech, said he knew that passing the bill meant that the motion to vacate would be used against him.
“But one thing I think we must quite understand and if there’s advice I can give: Do not be fearful if you believe your philosophy brings people more freedom. Do not be fearful that you could lose your job over it,” McCarthy said. “I knew the day we decided to make sure to choose to pay our troops while war was breaking out instead of shutting down was the right decision. also knew a few would make a motion; somehow, they disagreed with that decision. Do it anyways. I would do it all again.”
When I made the decision to pay our troops and not shut the government down, I knew a motion to vacate was coming.
I would do it all again. pic.twitter.com/RgphRFXSiW
— Kevin McCarthy (@SpeakerMcCarthy) December 11, 2023
McCarthy’s route to speaker was turbulent with a host of House Republicans, including Gaetz, holding out against the California lawmaker. Electing McCarthy as speaker lasted four days and 15 rounds of ballot.